The Batman, Moonfall and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

By Chris Kavan - 01/12/22 at 11:38 AM CT

It looks like the MPAA Ratings board is getting back into the swing of things, bringing us the joy of two major titles this week. On the box office side of things, Spider-Man: No Way Home continues to climb the record charts as animated sequel Sing 2 also crosses a major milestone. Things weren't so bright for The 355, as the female-driven action/spy film fell below expectations and didn't start off 2022 with any kind of bang.

As expected, Spider-Man had no problem keeping the crown for the fourth straight weekend. The multi-verse of heroes and villains took in $32.6 million (off 41.8%), giving the film a new $668.3 million domestic total. That moved it ahead of Jurassic World ($652.4 million) and Titanic ($659.4 million) to take sixth place on the all-time charts (no adjusted for inflation). And it won't be long before it tops Avengers: Infinity War ($678.8 million) to rise another spot. Overseas, it's doing just as well with $867.5 million - 8th place all time coming in just ahead of The Avengers $1.52 billion. It faces little in the way of major competition - with most not coming until well into February (Scream, Moonfall, Death on the Nile, Uncharted and Ambulance look like the most likely threats) and should continue to play strong into the new year.

In second place, Sing 2 earned $11.6 million (down 42.5%) and crossed the $100 million mark in the process, with a $108.66 million total. That officially makes it the most successful animated film of 2021, topping Encanto ($92.5 million) as well as the only animated film to top the $100 million domestic mark. In fact, it is the first animated film to cross that mark since Frozen II back in 2019. It has also earned an additional $81.8 million overseas bringing its worldwide total up to $190.8 million. It should have no problem topping $200 million at this point and putting it behind - though not too far off - from the $270.4 million total of the first Sing back in 2016.

Coming in third place was The 355. While this spy thriller boasted an impressive cast of women - Jessica Chastain, Penélope Cruz, Bingbing Fan, Diane Kruger and Lupita Nyong'o - along with Edgar Ramírez, Sebastian Stan and Jason Flemyng as well as being directed by Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Dark Phoenix), this was seen as less than empowering and more pandering and critics savaged it with a 26% Rotten and while audiences were a bit more forgiving with a "B+" Cinemascore (56% of whom were women) - not many showed up. With just a $4.62 million opening, the film came in below even modest expectations. This one isn't going to survive long domestic but it may be saved by an international cast that could spark ticket sales when it opens internationally - but that's not a given.

Coming in at fourth place, The King's Man dipped just under 30% for a $3.22 million weekend and a new $25 million total. The franchise origin story with Ralph Fiennes in the lead had earned nearly double that overseas with $49.2 million for a worldwide total of nearly $75 million thus far.

Rounding out the top five, American Underdog, the Kurt Warner biopic with Zachary Levi and Anna Paquin, continued to pull on those heartstrings to the tune of $2.33 million (off 40.4%) and giving the feel-good drama a new $18.65 million total.

Next week brings us the newest Scream with series vets Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette joining a new group of victims targeted by our newest classic slasher. This one has been getting positive buzz so we'll see how it stacks up against Spider-Man.

Along with the continued box office fireworks, we have a decent updated in our MPAA Ratings Bulletin this week. We have one of the most anticipated super-hero films of 2022 (and it's not an MCU title) as well as a completely unhinged end-of-the-world scenario from the king of apocalyptic movies.

MPAA Official Logo

As I said, while the MCU has been getting a lot of attention lately, according to some sources (namely IMDB), the most anticipated super-hero film is not in the MCU, but their DC rivals in the form of The Batman. While Christian Bale's low-talking growler put the dark into Dark Knight, it looks like Robert Pattinson is taking up that mantle with his own take on the tortured billionaire/hero of Gotham City. While Pattinson is still probably best known for playing a twinkling vampire in Twilight, I won't discount him as he has proven adept at transforming with roles in films like The Rove, Lost City of Z, The Lighthouse and Good Time among others. He can take on some meaty roles and while I was skeptical at first, he does seem like he makes a fine lead, if looking a bit too emo. Still, the film also packs some great co-stars - Zoë Kravitz as a sleek Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Paul Dano as an unhinged Edward Nygma/Riddler and Colin Farrell as a nigh-unrecognizable Penguin. Jeffrey Wright is on board as Jim Gordon, Andy Serkis as loyal butler Alfred and
John Turturro as crime boss Carmine Falcone. Peter Sarsgaard, Barry Keoghan and Rupert Penry-Jones help round out the cast. Based on the trailers alone, this is going to be a drama-heavy affair in the vein of Christopher Nolan's trilogy. I mean, The Riddler is a serial killer and it always seems to be raining. The may be simplifying things, but this is far from the more campy affairs we have seen in the past. I hope they don't try to push things too hard in that direction but I admit I am interested to see the results. Rated PG-13 for strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material.

If the name Roland Emmerich doesn't immediately conjure up images of cities being destroyed by various means (aliens, monsters, climate change, everything possible), I don't know who else will. While Emmerich doesn't exclusively direct disaster films (he also has Midway, The Patriot and Stonewall among others), it is most likely what he is best known for. And when that's what you like to do - you go back to it again and again and again and he's up to his old tricks with Moonfall, which may be the most ridiculous premise yet - and looking at what he has already done - that's saying a lot. Okay, breakdown - the moon has been pushed out of its orbit and heading straight to Earth, NASA executive and former astronaut Jo Fowler discovers it but can't get anyone to believe her - but, of course, when things start going wrong, then people take notice. Maybe the Moon growing ever bigger in size has something to do with it? In any case, she joins forces with conspiracy theorist K.C. Houseman (played by Game of Thrones vet John Bradley) and an astronaut from her past (Patrick Wilson) to fix the issue and save the Earth. BUT WAIT - that's not the most insane thing, it turns out the reason the moon is hurling towards the Earth is... aliens? It turns out the moon is hollow and something inside has awoken and is going to wipe out life as we know it. It's two insane end-of-the-world scenarios in one! Who else is along for this ride? Michael Peña, Donald Sutherland, Wenwen Yu and Charlie Plummer. The cost is hovering somewhere around $140 million so we'll see if this disaster is truly a disaster when we get to see it later this year. Rated PG-13 for violence, disaster action, strong language and some drug use.

Those are the big films this time around, but you can check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below:

THE BATMAN

Rated PG-13 for strong violent and disturbing content, drug content, strong language, and some suggestive material.


DESCARRILADOS

Rated R for sexual references, drug content and language throughout.


FIRESTARTER

Rated R for violent content.


GOOD NIGHT OPPY

Rated PG for some mild language.


LUCY AND DESI

Rated PG for thematic elements, smoking and language.


METAL LORDS

Rated R for language throughout, sexual references, nudity, and drug/alcohol use – all involving teens


MOONFALL

Rated PG-13 for violence, disaster action, strong language and some drug use.


PANAMA

Rated R for violence, sexual content, nudity, drug use and language.


V FOR VENGEANCE

Rated R for bloody violence, language and sexual material.

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